Content marketing is proven and reaching maturity. But is there a content shock on the horizon? Is content marketing over already?
A great post in early January entitled “Why Content Marketing is Not a Sustainable Strategy” kicked off a spirited discussion about content marketing’s long-term viability.
The idea is that content production continues to increase exponentially. With it, technology has also enabled a rise in the capacity in all of us to consume content. This is rising more slowly, however, since there’s an inviolable limit to how much content people can consume. As a result, the production of content will soon dramatically swamp the ability for people to consume it, making content marketing economically ineffective. (If you’re interested, a response to this article can be found on the Content Marketing Institute’s website.)
We’ve seen something like this coming too; although we view it differently. Yes, the content tsunami continues to overwhelm human bandwidth. But what we see instead is not the death of content marketing, but the increasing importance of two factors: Specificity and Creativity.
Specificity is about creating your content for a carefully defined audience. This might be a long-term, loyal audience (like PepperMill readers—thank you), people looking to solve a very specific problem, or people who are interested in a niche topic. General content or fluff content (of which there is a ton), won’t cut it anymore. The content shock will make this approach less and less effective. It will be a very long time, however, before highly specific or niche content succumbs to any kind of content shock.
Creativity is the other, even bigger, factor. We’re witnessing a rebirth of the importance of creativity and novelty in successful content marketing. Generating a large amount of standard, average content created results in the past, but with ever-more content being produced, this will no longer work. The bar is higher. It’s about creativity and novelty of ideas. But it’s also about novelty of delivery method, novelty of format, and novelty of distribution channels. We even have our own term for it—the “Novelty Multiplier™.” It’s the boost that creativity delivers, and it’s significant.
So is content marketing soon-to-be dead? For some, yes. But for companies that are specific and creative, content marketing will be tremendously effective for years to come.